Humanities

Branka Arsic sitting at her desk with a stack of books and lit lamp

Photo by John Pinderhughes

Branka Arsić had an “aha” moment after reading the works of 19th-century American writers such as Henry David Thoreau and Emily Dickinson. She started looking at the literary criticism on them and realized that she didn’t agree with much of it.
Sarah Cole in a black dress standing on campus with Butler Library in the background

Photo by John Pinderhughes

Sarah Cole, the newest dean of humanities in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, is leading a report with ways to improve equity for women and underrepresented minorities among the faculty.
Deans Fredrick Harris and Sarah Cole standing on campus with Butler Library in the background

Photos by John Pinderhughes; Composite by Nicoletta Barolini

Sarah Cole and Fredrick Harris were named divisional deans in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences last year, taking on the roles of shaping the fields of humanities and social sciences.
Hungarian American actor Bela Lugosi Dracula

Actor Bela Lugosi portrayed Dracula in Tod Browning’s 1931 film.

How many courses require students to read Freud, discuss the Gospel of St. Matthew, and then watch episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer?

Columbia University Humanities Prof. Edward Mendelson

In 1972, while going over a list of essays to include in his collection, Forewords and Afterwords, the poet W. H. Auden turned to the 26-year-old scholar assisting him and asked, “Why didn’t you include my essay on Romeo and Juliet?”

The seminar in 401 Hamilton Hall focused on classic literary texts, including Homer’s Odyssey, Shakespeare’s Othello, and W.E.B. Du Bois’ The Souls of Black Folk. But this was no ordinary summer school class, and its students were not traditional collegians.

Sheldon Pollock, the Arvind Raghunathan Professor of South Asian Studies, Columbia University

Around the world scholars in modern and ancient languages seek to maintain the world’s diverse cultures.

They supervise academic departments and research centers. They oversee faculty searches and hires. They help set budget priorities and research funding. They manage allegations of conflicts of interest. They even get involved in renovations and space requests.

Sharon Marcus, a scholar of 19th century French and English literature whose current research focuses on theatrical celebrity, sees her new role as dean of humanities in the Faculty of Arts and

Sharon Marcus, (left) Orlando Harriman Professor of English and Comparative Literature, and Alondra Nelson, professor of sociology and director of the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality.

Alondra Nelson and Sharon Marcus become divisional deans in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, effective July 1. Nelson, professor of sociology and director of the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality, was named Dean of Social Sciences.

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